Reasons the visit the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean this week

Monmouth Festival

Situated in the beautiful historic Welsh border town Monmouth Festival is a nine day festival offering the unique atmosphere of yesteryear festivals in the here and now. Attracting visitors from all over the world, it is proud to be considered one of the longest running, largest and best free volunteer organised festivals in Europe.adminupload_56ae369eb5d13mon1

Throughout its 34 years the Festival has got bigger and better and now includes the Carnival, Busking Festival and a growing Fringe.  The Festival prides itself on being extremely friendly, relaxed and an opportunity for families and all generations of people to come together and enjoy themselves.
22nd-30th July

Richard III

Live from the Almeida Theatre in London. Ralph Fiennes and Vanessa Redgrave star in what is bound to be one of the hottest theatre tickets of the summer. Indeed the stage show is sold out, so the only way to see it is via the big screen relay. Come and see two of Britain’s top actors star in one of Shakespeare’s most explosive history plays. Directed by Rupert Goold.adminupload_57795371ac12arichard3

Tickets:  £15 and £12(under 16’s)

Thursday July 21st at 7.00pm

Much Marcle Steam Rally
Situated in the heart of stunning Herefordshire countryside at Much Marcle near Ledbury.

A superb array of Steam Traction Engines, Vintage Tractors, Vintage Commercial Vehicles, Vintage Motor Cycles and Cars, Stationary Engines, Fairground Organs, Models and Crafts.

A vast selection of trade stands, working displays of cider pressing, steam ploughing, and threshing.
23rd-24th July

Folk on the Lawn
Folk  on the Lawn, in various guises, as a modest little event, has been running for some years now. It is, perhaps, a little unusual in that it has no budget whatsoever and relies on the good will of those involved – artists, staff, the Abbey Mill Centre, the good folk of Tintern and various other benefactors and supporters, who lend the festival space, equipment, time and, not least, artistic prowess.adminupload_56d73b789d36bfotl

Amazingly, for such a small festival, it has featured (and looks as if it will continue to do so) a number of international artists and signed bands, in addition to the Welsh, English and very local talent that has graced its stages.

Venue: Abbey Mill, Tintern

Date: 21-24 July 2016

Entry fee: FREE

Three Choirs Festival
For nearly three hundred years the cathedral cities of Hereford, Gloucester and Worcester have taken it in turn to host an annual ‘music meeting’. The original performers were the three cathedral choirs, who remain at the heart of the festival, but the large-scale choral repertoire at today’s concerts is performed by the TCF Chorus drawn from the three cities, joined by an array of international artists and ensembles to provide a diversity unimagined in the eighteenth century. In 2016, the festival celebrates will be held in Gloucester.

adminupload_569b8e446826f3choirsFor visitors and audience members, the Three Choirs Festival is a unique, immersive experience. Events take place throughout the day during festival week: you can start with a guided walk around the historic host city, take in an art exhibition or enjoy a lunchtime recital in a beautiful church, get on a coach for an afternoon concert somewhere in the surrounding countryside, be back in time for Choral Evensong or a tea-time talk, listen to an awe-inspiring choral and orchestral performance in a glorious cathedral setting, and finish with jazz and a drink at one of our more informal late night events.

23rd-30th July

Ticket events

Summer Holidays at Taurus Crafts
THE FLOATING CASTLE. Lullaby Leesa and her amazing puppets with tales of recycling and King Arthur. Make your own fun puppet. (1hr), £3.00. 25th July, 1st, 8th, 15th, 22ndAugust 10.30, Age 3+, 11.30, 1.00, 2.00.

TED’EES ‘PATCH’ BUILD A BEAR. Create your very own special Teddy Bear, and design him a T-shirt or recycled bandana to wear.  (1hr) From £14.50. 29th, 30th July, 5th, 7th, 12th, 13th, 19th, 20th, 26th, 27th August, All Ages, 10.30-4.30. adminupload_56b0ef9f5e856paint (2)

PAINT YOUR OWN POT. Paint pottery items and have them glazed and fired. (20min approx), from £6. 23rd July till 31st August, All Ages, 11.00-1.00 + 2.00-4.00.

STONE CARVING with Cats Eye Carving, £5.00 to have a go (20min), £20.00 to carve a design on a 4” square piece of stone to take home (45min) 27th July, 3rd 10th, 17th, 24th & 31st August. Age 5+. 10.30 -4.30.

JEWELLERY & WIRE HEARTS with Balm Jewellery, make beautiful beaded jewellery or a heart decoration with new and up-cycled beads (20 min approx) £3.50, 26th July, 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd & 30th August. All Ages. 11.00-4.00.

WEDNESDAY WORKSHOP. Create something different every Wednesday with Mad Dog Designs using recycled materials. (20min approx), Free, 27th July, 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th, 31st August. All Ages. 11.00-1.00 + 2.00-4.00.

ARNIE KAZZAM THE WIZARD. Laughter and magic show. (40min), £2.00 per child, Shows. 17th, 24th August.                     All Ages. 12-12.40 & 2.00-2.40.

T-SHIRT TO TOTE. Visit the Gift Shop to create your very own tote bag from a recycled T-shirt. Bring your own T-shirt or use one provided. (20min approx) £3.00, 6th & 13th August, All Ages. 11.00-1.00 & 2.00-4.00.

FINGER KNITTING with Silk Road Bazaar. Learn this innovative technique to create your own stunning necklace and bracelet. (2hr workshop), £25 (Includes enough yarn and buttons to make x3 necklace/bracelet set), 23rd July – 31st August. Adults and Children age 10+ Booking Only, 01594 840789.

RECYCLED BUG HOTEL. Artist Frances Warren will be demonstrating how she creates her bug hotels using found and recycled materials to create a valuable refuge for insects. 11.00-1.00 +2.00-4.00. 21st August. Free demonstration.

SING & SIGN. Learn baby signing the fun way and help your baby to communicate before speech. (40-45min), 6 months+ £5. 10th August. 10.00-11.00. Numbers are limited so booking is essential.  For more info or to book email:

Monmouth Busking Festival
Inspired by Coleford Busking Festival the very first Monmouth Busking Festival was held in 2014.

Following the success of previous events the busking festival returns for a third consecutive year to the streets of Monmouth.  Musicians and performers of all styles, genres and ages will be set to entertain you throughout the day. This year the event falls on International Busking Day so we hope to make it the biggest and best yet!

23rd July

Enjoy a scrumptious cream tea overlooking the River Wye

Until the 15th July, The Royal Lodge in Symonds Yat is offering customers a fantastic cream tea deal to celebrate the launch of its new Kingfisher Suite function room.adminupload_570e484510d66Cream-Tea-Herefordshire

Enjoy a scrumptious cream tea for two complete with home-made scones, clotted cream, butter and jam with a choice of tea or coffee for just £10!

Overlooking the stunning River Wye, the new function room is available for weddings, meetings and conferences with seating for up to 100 guests. The room offers private dining for large groups as well a comforting large wood burner and large windows that open to showcase the stunning garden views.

Make the most of this great money-saving offer and visit before 15th July. Cream tea is available daily from 2:30pm-6pm. Booking is essential, please contact The Royal Lodge on 01600 890238 to arrange your experience.

For more information, visit:
Chepstow Festival

The Chepstow Arts and Community Festival is a month long celebration of theatre, music and creativity in the town. With over 80 events being staged by a wide range of community groups.adminupload_57530fa7506d9chepstowfestival

This year’s Festival is underway and will culminate on 24 July 2016 with a 200th anniversary celebration of the opening of Chepstow’s historic cast iron bridge.

This summer there are 13 exciting theatre productions in Chepstow Castle by Britain’s top professional touring open-air theatre companies. With the great British summer giving us plenty of rain this year, visitors can be assured they will be kept dry thanks to the audience cover which was installed in 2012 and keeps audiences of over 250 dry in the event of rain.

 Music at Tintern

Come to the Old Station Tintern throughout the summer for fantastic musical performances from 2pm – 4pm:

  • Friday 29th July – Alex Ishmael and Henry Blight (Young singer/guitarists in the style of Ed Sheeran and Jake Bugg)
  • Sunday 31st – Mad Toms Crowd
  • 7 Aug – Alex Kirk and Laura Bonar (Post-graduate pianist and violinist)
  • Sunday 14th August – 3 miles per hour (acoustic trio)
  • Sunday 21st August – Nataley Simpson (Folk/pop singer/guitarist)
  • Sunday 28th August – Jan & Ian
  • Sunday 4th Sept – Tripling Trio (Post-graduate RWCMD woodwind instrumentalists)
  • Sunday 18th September – The JAZZ LAdZZ (Jazz/funk fusion)

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